Published August 8, 2022
KENNESAW—Deacon Edward “Ed” Santa died July 15. He was 85 years old.
Ed was born on June 22, 1937 in Providence, Rhode Island after his father, Arthur Santa, and mother, Jessie Santa, both deceased, immigrated to the United States. They later relocated to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where Santa attended and graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School and went on to get his degree in dentistry from Loyola University, Chicago.
Upon graduation Santa enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Vietnam War. He retired from Ft. Richardson Alaska in 1988 with the rank of Colonel. During his time in the Army he was assigned to Kagnew Station, Asmara, Ethiopia and Supreme Headquarter Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) near Mons, Belgium among other places and was highly decorated for his service.
Upon retiring from the Army, he opened a dental practice close to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Kennesaw. He would go on to work for the Cobb County Jail after his second retirement, giving emergency treatment to the inmates and was made an honorary sheriff.
Dr. Santa also started a support group for families and friends of those who suffer from the disease of addiction in the greater Cobb County area.
Being a man of faith, he would later be called and chosen to be part of the diaconate formation program in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and was ordained a deacon. He served at Transfiguration Church before retiring.
Ed was once an avid runner, logging many miles and marathons. He also enjoyed biking and salmon fishing.
He is survived by his wife, Linda; his daughters, Lisa Cook (Kris) of Marietta, Suzanna Jacob (Dave) of Valley, Alabama, Cynthia Johns (Kirk) of Monticello, Sheila Peeler (Mark) of Midland; a son, Shaun Whitmer (Sara) of Decatur, and grandchildren, Sarah Georgiades (Jon), Caroline Bordes (Ian), Ethan Cook, Julian Peeler, Oliver Whitmer, Leo Walker, Alex Walker, Rufus Walker, great-grandson Luke Bordes; and a brother, Raymond “Ray” Santa (Margaret) of Clarksville.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 1 at Transfiguration Church. A burial with military honors was Aug. 8 at 9 a.m. at The Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.
Remembrances may be made in the form of contributions to The Alzheimer’s Association.